The Universal Studios nine-season show The Office is full of weird and comical characters, and a fan favorite has always been Dwight K Schrute.
Dwight is a no-nonsense beet farmer with a heavy passion for selling paper. Nobody in the show, and possibly the world, takes selling paper (as well as life in general) as seriously as Dwight.
With counterparts like Michael and Jim, we see more and more of Dwight’s character and come to understand his motivations. There are many characters whose lives change and develop over the course of the show. I would argue that Dwight is, in fact, the shows main protagonist.
On the surface, the show seems to focus on Jim and Pam’s love story primarily. However, it is revealed that Dwight is the true focus of the story. In fact, Jim’s main role in the show is as one of Dwight’s antagonists. Between constant office pranks, snide comments, and purposeful antagonizing of Dwight, Jim is a nearly-constant barrier between Dwight and his wants or needs.
Dwight only begins to attempt (and usually fail) to return Jim’s pranks after a few seasons. Michael also serves as an antagonist to Dwight. Dwight clearly looks up to Michael. Dwight is constantly searching for his approval, and Michael is disgusted with Dwight’s desperation; perhaps because he sees a reflection of himself in that behavior.
As with any show, the audience is sent on a journey with the characters. From the very beginning, we are set to feel a fondness for Dwight. Many people may find him to be an obnoxious stickler for rules; no one can deny his work ethic and tenacity.
Dwight even makes some of the show’s most humorous jokes, and who doesn’t love to laugh? During the episode “Mafia,” Dwight and Oscar are in an argument about whether “Gotti” or “Grotti” sounds stronger. Dwight argues that “R is among the most menacing of sounds! That’s why they call it ‘murder,’ and not ‘muckduck!’”
Furthering his comedic effect, Dwight is constantly demanding authority he does not have, and that no one accepts. During the episode “Did I Stutter,” Dwight shows Michael a clearly previously prepared chart that he calls “Disaster emergency Mode” and gives him full authority over the entire office, which Michael immediately denies. By the time we reach this episode, which occurs in season 4, the audience has grown to be fond of Dwight.
As we approach the end of the series, we really begin to see a focus on how Dwight is doing. Throughout, we have watched his relationship with Angela ebb and flow. At different times we have watched their heartache unfold and have felt incredible sympathy for that pain.
So much so, that the last two episodes of the show center entirely on their bachelor and bachelorette parties and their wedding. He ends the show with Angela and their son, Phillip. Dwight is Dunder Mifflin’s regional manager, and has “completely consolidated the Scranton Wilkes-Barre paper market.”
He has achieved every professional goal and managed to obtain a fulfilling and complete personal life. Dwight ends up with arguably the happiest ending, after nine seasons of working towards it.